28 January 2022

Coca-Cola to launch a Fresca branded hard soda with Constellation Brands

Canada | It is pick’n chose for The Coca-Cola Company. Having partnered with Molson Coors for its Topo Chico hard seltzer, the beverage firm, in January 2022, said it has now chosen rival Constellation Brand to create a line of RTD cocktails under Coke’s Fresca soft drink brand. Slated to arrive some time this year, the drinks will be produced, marketed and distributed by Constellation.

This will be Coke’s third alcoholic drink launch, but only its second alcohol cooperation. Coke went solo in Japan where its local unit has been selling a hard soda, Lemon-Do, since 2019.

In the US, hard soft drinks are nothing new. Several beverage makers have released various brands of hard root beer, ginger ale and other drinks.

It is hoped that hard sodas could pick up the slack for hard seltzers, whose growth seems to have slowed down in 2021. Nevertheless, hard seltzers have already captured more than 10 percent of the beer market. Some think sales of hard seltzers could grow between 5 percent and 10 percent annually for the next few years, and eventually control between 15 percent and 20 percent of the beer market.

Putting alcohol into sodas

Last August, PepsiCo and Boston Beer (Sam Adams) announced the launch of a Mountain Dew hard seltzer, which is slated for release in early 2022.

In January, AB-InBev launched a hard soda with four flavours under its Bud Light umbrella brand. They each have 100 calories and 5 percent ABV per can. AB-InBev also introduced a limited-time sour seltzer line in December 2021.

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